macrantha (Ledeb.) J.A. Shultes
auct. p.p. non Pers. (Lam.) Beauv.
Koeleria cristata auct. p.p. non Pers.
tall (18 - 26 inches), erect grass, without rhizomes, growing in
small bunches 2 to 6 inches in diameter. It starts growth in the
early spring, flowers in June and July, produces seed through September,
and may regrow in the fall if soil moisture is adequate. It reproduces
from seeds and tillers. It usually reaches the blossom stage ahead
of most of its associated grass species.
narrow, spike-like panicle (open during anthesis), 1 to 5 inches
long; seedstalks nearly leafless, often finely pubescent just below
the seedhead; spikelets about 1/8 inch long, contain 2 to 4 florets;
glumes and lemmas glabrous, awnless, or awn-pointed.
basal, glabrous on lower leaves sometimes slightly pubescent; blades
narrow, 1 ½ to 5 inches longs, flat to rolled and curly when
dry, and rough above from raised veins; sheaths also prominently
veined; leaves folded in bud; ligules short, less than 1/16 inch,
membranous, collar-shaped, finely toothed at margin; auricles absent.
Junegrass is widely
distributed from the gently rolling hills and footslopes to the
mountain valleys from 6,000 to 12,500 feet elevation in the 16 to
24 inch rainfall belts. It is not normally found in wetland areas.
found in deep, medium to moderately fine textured soils but it can
be found in moderately deep soils with coarse fragments.
species include a wide variety of mountain forbs. Associated grasses
include mountain brome, Columbia
needlegrass, letterman needlegrass, and Kentucky
is an excellent forage plant for all classes of livestock, although
forage production is low. It is good forage for wildlife in spring
and in the fall after curing. It is less palatable during seed production.
It furnishes feed for small mammals and upland game birds. It is
an excellent erosion control plant within the plant communities
where it grows, but is seldom found in pure stands.
Junegrass responds to grazing management that harvests 40 to 50
percent of the annual yield during the growing season. It does not
do well under season long, heavy grazing pressure.
Where it is kept in vigorous growing conditions, Junegrass has a
stabilizing effect on soils and water movement on watersheds.